“Pairing gorgeous art sets over a bed adds a sense of calm and balance to any bedroom.” —Barclay Butera
or the well-dressed Southern California residence, Barclay Butera is on the fast track to becoming a household name. The driven design icon has parlayed 25 years of an eponymous interior design business into a flourishing, multifaceted empire. His trademark scripted “B” adorns the covers of coffee table books, the labels of home décor accessories, a furniture line and a specialty bespoke Rolls-Royce. Licensing agreements with some of the most respected luxury manufacturers in the industry are being inked at a dizzying pace. And Barclay Butera is just warming up.
After honing his craft during college summers spent in Palo Alto at his mother’s design firm, Butera launched his own company with a 1,600-square-foot furniture showroom and began taking on unique design projects such as a charming cottage once owned by Bette Davis. Today, he oversees 48 employees in Newport Beach, Corona del Mar and Park City, Utah. Twenty-one designers work with him on projects located in the world’s toniest cities and resort destinations.
In 1996, as the Barclay name grew in prestige, the designer was tapped with increasing regularity to design rooms that were featured in elite show homes used for charity fundraisers and in shelter magazines. Since then, his designs have been showcased in a multitude of publications. His most recent work was part of the wildly popular Modernism Week held in early 2017 in Palm Springs. “What I enjoy most about these [projects],” said Butera, “is that I am both my own designer and my own client. I give myself free rein to create the types of interiors that best showcase my style.”
“Nothing is more conducive to conversation than a circular seating configuration. I love seeing clients connecting in rooms like this.”
Butera has five coffee table books to his name. His first book signing, for “Barclay Butera: Living In Style,” took place 15 years ago at the prestigious French publisher Assouline’s jewel box of a bookstore in New York’s Plaza Hotel. Butera remembers it as a heady experience.
“Having a book published is somehow more permanent than being [featured] by other media outlets,” said Butera. “Books show stability and a publisher’s willingness to invest. My books are a reflection of what I do and what my company does.”
Butera’s coffee table tomes are all about the photography. “People love photos,” he said. “I’ll have 200 images in 125 pages. I have a very specific look with light, art, color and lots of layering. My look can serve as a refreshment in contrast to other designers. I am well-known for color, layering, mixing of patterns and textiles.”
“It was such an honor to design my ‘Yacht on Wheels’ for Rolls- Royce last year. We rolled it out at the Concours d’Elegance and the response was incredible.”
Impeccable teak woodwork, Butera’s quintessential color scheme, and a matching picnic basket in the “boot.” These are just a few of the eye-popping interior elements of the Rolls-Royce Dawn designed by Barclay Butera. That golden opportunity sprang from a chance meeting on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts, where Butera was judging a yacht design competition. Rolls-Royce was the event’s sponsor. The renowned British automaker approached him with the idea of designing an exclusive car for its bespoke division. After a year of transatlantic trips and hundreds of emails with Rolls- Royce designers, the customized yacht was unveiled at the 2016 Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California.